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: lunch is served. kaimei's husband also works in the factory. he is a purchasing agent. rui's daughter-in-law works in the factory's shipping department. in the 1970s and '80s, people were able to buy a few electrical appliances. jiang guifang tells us that their two-story concrete house was built in 1988, the same year they purchased this washing machine. this air conditioner was purchased in 1994. that year, about 30% of the villagers had a vcr. and several years before that, almost everyone here had bought a color television set. in the 21st century, consumer technology races forward. more families have dvd and vcd machines than vcrs. in fact, in china, it is difficult to find vcrs to play videotapes. narrator: in many places, cell phones have leapfrogged land lines. zong-guo xia: in chinese, the cell phone is called "big brother's talk machine." it's sort of like an indicator of your economic well-being and your social status. narrator: in 2003, 12% of urban chinese families owned a personal computer, and many more connect to the internet through public cafes. although rural life changes
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